DEARBORN — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to an emotional email about a local doctor with free tickets for he and his friends to attend the Super Bowl.
Beaumont Dearborn Emergency Department Chief Dr. Zafar Shamoon has had a 12-year tradition of traveling to Las Vegas with two of his closest friends to watch the Super Bowl together.
With so much uncertainty still surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and all three being health care providers, they had decided to cancel their trip this year.
Shamoon’s wife, Dr. Nadia Yousaf, sent a letter via email to Commissioner Goodell expressing her appreciation for the work that her husband and his team at Beaumont have done over the last year.
“I talked about just how hard he has been working in the emergency department and how every single person has been putting in so much time,” she said. “I was so happy because he’s been working so hard and doing so much, it is just an amazing opportunity to give back to all the first responders.”
Shamoon told The Arab American News that he didn’t know she was going to send the email and certainly didn’t expect a response.
“It meant a lot to me that she recognized not only the work I put in, but how hard my entire team and department has been working, too,” he said. “The game was always a way to catch up with my buddies and it ended up becoming a tradition. I’m still in shock, this is like our bucket list items coming true.”
There will be 7,500 first responders and healthcare professionals in attendance for Sunday’s game and all of them had to show proof of full vaccination in order to attend.
“Everyone has to be fully vaccinated, which I think makes me more comfortable,” Shamoon said. “It’s really emotional for me to be able to keep the tradition going with my brothers. Watching the Super Bowl is something that my dad and I really bonded over and just a reminder of that is emotional, too. In a way it helps that everyone there will be able to relate, as we all have been through it.”
Beaumont Dearborn discharged more than 2,000 recovered COVID patients and have screened over 4,000 patients curbside.